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SOCIAL MEDIA

To gauge his opinion on important matters regarding education, we conduct a Twinterview with Mitchel Resnick, a LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research and the head of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab.

[As seen in the October 2014 edition of our magazine]

Mitchel Resnick is a LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research and the head of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab. He led the research group that developed the ‘programmable brick’, and we’re delighted to welcome him to our Twinterview to explore how new technologies can engage people in creative learning experiences.

During my professional experiences over the last year, cyberbullying, inappropriate behaviour, access to unsuitable content, privacy and productivity are key concerns of IT executives working in education. But despite the risks at stake, a quarter of education establishments permitting access to social media admit their acceptable use policy does not address the use of Twitter, Facebook or other mainstream social media platforms.

What makes a geek? Well, according to IMS contributor Rachel Jones, a geek is “passionate, knowledgeable, wanting to convey that to the children in our classrooms. A liking for sci-fi optional.” Here, we take that enthusiasm and look at 30 superb tweeters who either identify as “geeky” or meet this loose, celebratory criteria. Senses of humour and bon mots abound.  Note: This list was assembled by Innovate My School and external recommendations. It is by no means a ‘best-of’, and is in no particular order.

Twitter is not just for the teacher, or even the school department. Schools can gain lots from having their own whole school account. There are many ways in which you can use it too. From reporting on whole school issues, passing out messages about snow days and much more, there are very compelling reasons as to why you would want to be a ‘tweeting school’. There are a fair amount of tweeting headteachers too, but this article will be looking solely at schools.

As we March (ahem) into the spring, it is time to find sunshiny shortcuts and time-saving strategies, dear IMS-reader. The questions this month have been based around improvement and engagement. Please send in questions for next month via j.cain@innovatemyschool.com for next months piece.

In case it’s slipped you by, Twitter is a social media service that allows messages of 140 characters or less to be sent out into the ‘Twittersphere’ for sharing. Like many social media you can follow people, organisations, brands, events on Twitter to see the tweets that they write and find out information and read content that they want to share. Personally, I use Twitter to interact with other educators and find it an invaluable PD tool. When I am using it as a tool for my department however I use it in a completely different way.

This is a list of 30 recommended education-oriented Twitter feeds. Note: this is by no means a ‘best-of’, and is in no particular order. The list is comprised of suggestions from the public and our own choices.

Collaboration between schools has recently been said to be the key to raising standards, with experts sharing good practice whilst learning from one another. Throw in an international element with two schools collaborating across the globe and you’ve got some pretty excited students and staff! How often do students in the UK get to meet, chat and dance for students on the other side of the world and then have the technology available to immediately judge and give feedback on these performances? Well that’s exactly what happened at Woodham Academy in County Durham and Merton Intermediate School in Wisconsin, America earlier this year; sharing good practice and resources, and collaborating on creative and innovative projects.

As discussed in Cazzypot’s article on teacher-blogging from earlier this year, teachers are often very active in their communities. Twitter plays a huge part in this; here, Mark ‘@ICTEvangelist’ Anderson explains why he considers tweeting to be a crucial part of being a modern teacher.

That’s right - I’m that teacher in your staffroom talking about people, not by their first names, but by their Twitter handles. Have you seen @headguruteacher’s latest blog post on assessment? Yes, I simply loved his Pedagogy postcards. Such a brilliant collection of advice from him. What? That post about Christmas term and how you can make it to the end of term whilst still capturing the magic of Christmas…? So positive and full of great advice - let’s make it so we get the best out of all our community in the run up to Christmas. How can we do that?

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